Schools: History Project Advances; College Scholarships

Finley student Jordana Boxer’s project, “Debate and Diplomacy in the Achille Lauro Hijacking”  qualified for the state finals for National History Day in April.

The Achille Lauro was an Italian ocean liner that was hijacked by four Palestinian terrorists in October 1985 off the coast of Egypt. The hijackers murdered the 69-year-old  American named Leon Klinghoffer, who was in a wheelchair, and threw his body overboard, outraging the world.

“Jordana built upon her sixth and seventh grade National History Day experiences to take this year’s project on the Achille Lauro hijacking to the next level,” said Finley social studies teacher Jarrad Richter, who serves as the faculty adviser for the school’s Yorker Club and coordinates the National History Day program in the building. “She demonstrated a great enthusiasm for her chosen topic and a solid commitment to developing, creating, and revising her website over the last six months,” Richter said. “I’m proud of her and the work she has done.”

“Putting together my National History Day project was really cool,” Ms. Boxer said. “I got to research the Achille Lauro hijacking and learn about the events that led up to it. I also learned how this one terrorist attack, which took place over 35 years ago and that few of us even know about, continues to impact our daily lives.”

Scholar-Athlete Honors

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. has named its winter 2022 Scholar-Athlete teams and individuals.

The NYSPHSAA recognized 2,881 Scholar-Athlete teams. To qualify as a Scholar-Athlete team, the team’s grade point average (GPA) for 75% of the roster must be greater than or equal to 90.00. Additionally, 33,583 individuals earned a individual GPA of 90 or above for the marking period. A total of 610 schools across the state participated in the Scholar-Athlete program.




Preparing for College

The  Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center is sponsoring a session on planning for college life on Wednesday night. See the flyer for details.


SUNY Oneonta Scholarships

More than 800 students have been awarded scholarships at SUNY Oneonta. The college’s scholarship funds total over $60 million and are the result of contributions from donors, corporations and foundations.

  • Jack Gerardi of Commack (11725) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Rachael Goedel of Commack (11725) – Dorothy A. Wemple ’36 Scholarship
  • Jacob Goldstein of Huntington Station (11746) – Dorothy A. Wemple ’36 Scholarship
  • Samantha Hall of Melville (11747) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Valerie Jacobsen of Commack (11725) – Elin J. Stene Endowed Fund for Music Scholarships
  • Megan Kovacs of Commack (11725) – Mildred J. Haight Memorial Fund
  • Grace Luby of Northport (11768) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Madison More of Commack (11725) – Alumni Association Scholarship
  • Leighann Perciballi of Northport (11768) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Isabella Rombaldi of Huntington Station (11746) – Jessie Felsbury Kearney ’48 Scholarship
  • Taylor Shapiro of Commack (11725) – Alumni Centennial Scholarship and OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Melissa Sinon of Dix Hills (11746) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Michaela Soury of Dix Hills (11746) – OAS Oneonta Promise Scholarship
  • Domenica Spadoni of Dix Hills (11746) – Dorothy A. Wemple ’36 Scholarship
  • Joie Tortorice of Melville (11747) – Debra L. Parisian ’82 Scholarship

College Admissions Podcast

Syosset High School Principal Dr. John Durante, a Huntington resident, has begun a podcast to provide insights  from college admission professionals of top national universities and colleges. Through the podcast, named The College Admissions Process Podcast, students and parents can hear from those who make admission decisions, with insight and advice on all aspects of the college admissions process.

Schools represented on the podcasts recorded to date include Cornell University, Boston College, the University of Michigan, Penn State, the University of Florida, SUNY Geneseo, Michigan State, Iona College, Adelphi University, High Point University, Ohio State University, Sacred Heart University, Bucknell University, Muhlenberg, and Syracuse University.  Future episodes will feature some of the top universities and colleges nationwide.  Episodes are available every week, and students and parents can send questions to be considered for future episodes to:

The podcast is available anywhere you subscribe to podcasts and the website is:

National Merit Finalist

Senior Caitlin M. Roberts was presented recently with her certificate of merit for being named a National Merit Finalist 2022.

Her accomplishment places her in an elite group representing approximately half of the top 1% of American high school seniors. She is one of only 2,500 seniors among 1.6 million eligible students to receive this impressive recognition.

Rankings are based on students’ scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test which is given in the fall of their junior year. After qualifying as a semifinalist in the fall of 2021, finalists must continue to demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards and other requirements to advance.


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